Monday, September 26, 2005

"The footprints of a gigantic hound!"

I'd like to thank Bixblogger for quoting me at flattering length recently. I rarely get quoted, except when I make a particular hash of some grammatical locution. The glow on my vanity may not last long, but it may last long enough.

The only thing that troubles me about the passage is that the black dog becomes swirlingly evocative, mysterious, a supernatural incarnation. This is true of some encounters, and frighteningly so, but major depression can also be utterly merciless in its sheer, numbing, ever-patient banality. It drapes the surfaces and appearances of the world in its shroud, too -- and what was beautiful becomes distasteful, ugly, repugnant, incomprehensible even in its most obvious simplicities. Music becomes noise; movies become hectoring messages of confusion; books become the occasion of mental perplexity and labrynthine confusion. Light hurts. Air is heavy. Food tastes of bitterness.

And one's thoughts become drenched in self-obsession. It's quite the reverse of egotism, but the visible result can seem much the same. One has to recall consciously to turn away from one's self -- every day. Else one will be buried in the gathering dust of...insult? torment? decay? I'm fortunate that I have others to care about, besides whom my own self is but a small thing.

Unfortunately, I have no psychologically adequate explanation for this. I can do chapter and verse on genetics, biochemistry, behavioral explanations, but they seem grossly insufficient to the existential (if you'll forgive the word) magnitude of the thing. And purely psychologistic explanations seem laughably glib -- fairytales for wordmongers.

Well, Bixblogger, if you're listening, I'm delighted that the world is opening up now for you. Shoes, now there's just the thing. And don't neglect hats.

I'm just now returning from a weeklong walk with the dog, which accounts for the delay.

One very frustrating development: I can't find my copy of The Moviegoer, which once upon a time was one of my very favorite novels. I know it's here somewhere, because I've seen it -- on a thousand occasions when I wasn't looking for it, of course.